$6.4 million to go towards new Inuit Research Network in Canada

The community of Ulukhaktok in Canada’s Northwest Territories. “This grant will allow us to develop a new approach to how research is carried out across Inuit Nunangat, and we are excited to guide its growth,” says Natan Obed, the president of ITK, the national Inuit organization in Canada. (Eilís Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

The federal government announced $6.4 million on Wednesday to go towards a new Inuit Research Network in Canada.

Canada’s Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos made the announcement in Ottawa along with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) President Natan Obed in Ottawa and Dr. Michael Strong, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

“At ITK, we recognize the important role research can play in understanding our needs and building stronger communities,” Obed said in a statement. “This grant will allow us to develop a new approach to how research is carried out across Inuit Nunangat, and we are excited to guide its growth.”

ITK is the national Inuit organization and representing Inuit in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in Canada’s Northwest Territories; Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut; Nunavik in northern Quebec; and Nunatsiavut, in the Atlantic Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Need for Inuit-guided research 

The grant will come through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and will help guide research in all four Inuit regions. 

“Research led by Inuit, for Inuit promises to deliver on Inuit research priorities and be a catalyst for positive change for Inuit families and communities,” the CIHR’s Strong said. 

The Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre in Kuujjuaq, Quebec. ITK says it’s important that Inuit guide and partner on health and other research no matter where it’s done in the North. (Eilis Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

ITK has been promoting the need for Inuit-led research and health initiatives for several years.

In 2018, it launched its National Inuit Strategy on Research with a focus on facilitating research that benefits and responds to the needs of Inuit as well as prioritizing areas where Inuit could partner with the research community. 

This new research network will support Inuit-led research and knowledge sharing to help improve the health and well-being of Inuit in Canada while strengthening long-term capacity for Inuit-led research and knowledge mobilization across all disciplines,” Health Minister Duclos said.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca 

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Election Spotlight—Health Care in Nunavik, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland to reduce services amidst staffing shortages in health care system, Eye on the Arctic

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